Tuesday, February 26, 2008

XC Skiing - Salmon Hills XC Center

Two-day trip (Mon/Tues) to Salmon Hills Outdoor Adventure Center on the Tug Hill Plateau, where snow abounds.

After being delayed 2 hours yesterday in Utica with car trouble, we arrived at Salmon Hills around 3pm. Since the staff said we could ski later than the usual 4pm closing, and we'd missed lunch, we had a quick bowl of chili before heading out. Skied about 5-6 miles on wide, nicely groomed trails. Temps had been above freezing earlier in the afternoon, and had now dropped, leaving the trails a bit fast. That was OK, since "fast" also usually means almost effortless.

The only restaurant in nearby Redfield was described by another skier as serving mostly "snowmobiler food", so we headed west to Pulaski for dinner, about 30 minutes away. Found a decent Italian place (DiStefano's), had dinner and headed back to Salmon Hills. Not much to do but read for awhile and hit the sack. This place is really in the middle of nowhere.

Breakfast around 9am, with snow falling and a winter storm warning in place. Checkout was 11am, but noon was agreeable, so we went out and skied another 4-5 miles. The new-fallen snow was sticky and slow compared to yesterday, but the woods were very pretty. Back to the cafe around 11:45, checked out, had another bowl of chili, toured a couple of their yurts, and headed home. Roads were snow-covered and slick, but caution prevailed, and we got home by mid-afternoon. Now we're expecting 5-9" locally overnight.

To sum up: A very nice place to ski, with plentiful snow and excellent grooming, but nothing else whatsoever in the immediate area.

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